Sometimes, you've just got to reach out

I work out at Fitworks, the one downtown.  Some say it's too far to walk there (a whole 4 blocks), but I just think of the walk as part of my work out.  I've been a member for awhile, seen lots come and go, mostly go, but there are a few regulars that I can count on seeing about every day.  One of them is sort of a semi-regular because I don't see him working out every day, but maybe it's me that is semi.  His name is Jamiel and I think we are becoming friends. Last week, he was sitting idly on a machine wearing the usual scowl on his face that I interpreted as sheer hatred toward a skinny, white woman like me.  As I walked by him, I said, "I think you have to actually move around a little for this machine to work for you."  He looked at me and burst out laughing.  Since then, he's talked about his experiences in Viet Nam, the hatred he's had for white people most of his life, the times he's been approached by young black boys who wanted to harm him, and how going to Fitworks is the only time of day that he gets out of his two room rental.  He talks and I listen.  In a downtown, a city, a world, that is too divided by black and white - me and Jamiel have found a common ground on the treadmills.